tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN October 31, 2014 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
peaceful purposes. in order to provide that assurance, iran has to clarify the issues with possible military dimensions and implement the additional protocol. what is needed now is concrete actions on the part of iran to resolve all outstanding issues. i remain committed to working with iran to restoring a measure of confidence in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. but i repeat, this is not a never-ending process. it is very important that iran fully implements the framework for cooperation sooner than later. the iaea can make a unique contribution to resolving the iran nuclear issue, but we cannot do this on our own. the sustained efforts of the international community are needed, as is iran's full cooperation to resolve all outstanding issues. i will now be happy to take your
questions. thank you very much. [ applause ]. >> director general amano, thank you very much for your presentation. i have a few questions to pose to you. i'm sure our audience has many that it would like to pose to you. i know iran is going to be a big focus of attention, so therefore isle start off talking about the agency and its role.
i particularly want to raise the concern that i and many others have about the growing politicization surround iing th board of governors and its discussions about the agency's role. i remember when i yutzed to attend board of governors meetings, general conferences, usually there was a consensus among board members on any particular topic. it was very rare there was voting and a divided membership. now it's almost the norm on lots of issues for there to be voting and differences. you mention the -- the state level concept or state level approach. i think this is a very innova innovative approach to safeguarding. i think it would enhance the agency's role yet you and the secretariat have received
criticism from a number of countries, i can name them -- russia, argentina, brazil -- some others have raised questions about this innovative approach to safeguarding. could you talk a little bit about what i've described as the growing ploliticization of the - surrounding the agency? >> i firmly believe that the iaea is a technical organization. it should stay so. but the reality of that, everything we deal with is very many political. verification of nonproliferation is very political. we have the mandate on nuclear power. use of nuclear power is a very political issue in any country. so i think that iaea is a technical organization which is operating under a very political
environment. this is the irony. in order to make ourselves stay nonpolitical, technical, and impartial, we should have objective standard. and that is why i mentioned the use of standard, which is the full implementation of safeguard agreement and other relevant only gags. as far as we stick to this principle, we can be very impartial, neutral, and credible. i said fully. fully does not mean 100%. we are living in the real world. in the real world there's no 0% or 100%. so i repeat credible assurance. credible assurance is a concept
of ours. when i say fully, it means the countries have to -- country has to implement the safeguard as fully as possible. they should be as transparent as possible. in sticking to the universal standard, we can avoid the politicization. it is true now adays a lot of issues are put don vote compared to the past when a lot of issues were adapt ee ee eed -- adopted consensus. but if i compare the working environment in vienna or new york, we are not in the best shape. the important thing for iaea is we are not a debate club. we deliver concrete results. and we are inviting concrete results not only in nonproliferation area but in nuclear security, use of nuclear
power, application of nuclear technology for peaceful purpose and elsewhere. we have difficulties. we are live, operating in a very highly -- environment. but i think there's ways to make ourselveses impartial, nonpolitical, and deliver concrete results. >> let me just press you a little bit on this. if -- the iaea to me, the kre tre challenges that are in front of you, it's going to have to be pretty aggressive, independent, strong. but there are those who seem to be challenging the agency in a number of ways. you reach the conclusion i think on the basis of evidence that your staff had compiled that the syrians very likely had a nuclear reactor.
now, that finding is challenged, and it's challenged to this day. and there are those who really don't want you or your secretariat to have a strong independent voice. and i think it's just a real problem for the future of nuclear nonproliferation. are you concerned by the challenges you've been receiving? >> when i succeeded this job from my predecessor, there were three outstanding issues -- iran, north korea, and syria. north korea's been long a member, so we keep on following this issue. but the main issue was iran and syria. on sereia, we have had a visit to the site twice. we have collected our own information. and we have quite good knowledge
of the facilities which was destroyed. then the option for me was to postpone the drawing of conclusion board by board and perhaps forever or to conclude -- provide conclusion based on the findings that we have on our own. and i thought that if i can do it, it's better to do it. also, syria did not agree to give to me and to the agency after i became the director general. we did not have as much information as we wanted. instead, we have sufficient information to draw conclusion. that is why i drew conclusion on syria and i do not regret it. refusing cooperation is not the
best way, even under such a situation. if we have enough information and facts on our own, we should be able to draw conclusions. >> let me turn to iran. you mentioned a few moments ago how important the additional protocol is to providing confidence that a state is not engaged in undeclared activities inconsistent with its safeguards only gags. the iranians have agreed with the p5 plus 1 that if it's a comprehensive solution they will adhere to the additional protocol assuming their parliament agrees to it. but it seems to me for the many measures that will have to be monitored by your agency, it
will be necessary to go well beyond the additional protocol, something the iranians have expressed reluctance to do. now, obviously, we don't have an agreement, you don't know the provisions, but if you could speculate whether the agency is going to have to go well beyond the additional protocol, do you expect that you're going to be asked to do that, and are you prepared to do that? >> we do not yet know the content of comprehensive solution, if there is any. but we had from time to time from iaea sources in the negotiations and they are considering the measures beyond additional protocol. and it is some foreseeable that
implementation task will be given to us. we need to see the content of the agreement once it is agreed, but very important to -- step is they need to be endorsed, adopted by the board of governors. we are operating under the authority and control of the board of governors that take up the case of young plan of action. it was agreed between p5 plus 1 and iran and the iaea was asked to monitor and implement the agreement. i convened a special board of governors, and they agreed that the agency implements these measures.
i appealed to member states to continue necessary fund and they responded positively. we have received the mandate to implement the measures agreed under the joint plan of action, and we have given the means to implement it. so we are now implementing it. this case will be good reference when we consider the impleme implementation of measures to be agreed under the comprehensive solution. >> mr. director general, you discussed the agency's efforts to gain clarification on these possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear program. and i think it's clear from your remarks and what's been reported in the press that so far at least iran has not provided much cooperation with your investigation. so what happens if iran
continues to stone wall in this regard? you don't get the clarifications you need. what do you do in that circumstance? do you simply report to the board that you haven't gotten the cooperation that you seek, or do you draw some conclusions as you did in the syria case on the basis of the information available to you? now, you know, iran continues to argue that, you know, it always says so-called evidence is based on fabricated material, falsified documents and so forth. but i think on the basis of your analysis i think you called the information credible, indications of these associations with a military nuclear program. so what do you do? do you simply report that we didn't get cooperation or do you make an assessment based on information available to you?
>> first, regarding the possible military dimension, we have agreed in november 2013 with iran that all the outstanding issues, past and present, should be resolved through cooperation. we understand that all the unresolved issues, past and present, include issues with possible military dimension. it was a step-by-step approach, and we have agreed to take up that issue with possible military dimension, namely the explosive [ inaudible ]. and we have received some information from iran and we are now analyzing it. so at least one measure was
addressed. we agreed to take up two additional measures. agreement was made 20th of may. we started clarification of these two issues with iran, but the progress is limited. we would like to clarify other issues that we have agreed. and we are encouraging iran to come up with a proposal on new measures to be taken. but so far we have not yet received the concrete proposal from them. but important negotiation is ongoing. we have iran/iaea path so, we need to do everything to clarify the issues past and present.
the iranian case, syrian case, and north korean case are very different. and they are nonproliferation issues, but each case is different. the material foundation is different. volume and nature of the information is different. complexity of all the issues is very different. so as far as that possibility military dimension issues of iran, i think the best way is to continue a dialogue with iran. we have basic understanding of issues with clarity that was included in my first report in 2010 and i repeat the same -- i provide the same assessment in my quarterly report. we know where we stand now. in 2011, i provided a report
which identified 12 areas to clarify. so the questions to be answered are clear now. we have now the tool to clarify the framework for cooperation. so the best way is to implement it. >> thank you. why don't we open it up. when you have a question, please identify yourself and ask a concise question. david, did you -- >> if you do get cooperation in the list you provided in 2011 on these issues, is it important that the iaea make public the history of iran's work on possible military dimensions and what you've determined or not? there seems to be some reluck
tans on the part of the iranians to have a public accounting. and we've heard some indications that they might be more willing to be cooperate fif they thought their answers to the questions would remain confidential within the system. and some say that's why they've been less cooperative with you even while they've continued to negotiate the p5 plus 1. so i'm just wondering what your stance is about the need to make public the answers to each of the 11 or 12 issues that you raised. >> all the safeguards and confidential information should be kept tight between the country and iaea. but when i find it is needed, i share the information with the iaea member states. i did it in my quarterly report. and with respect to the possible
military dimension, i included rel live the detailed information in the annex. and that is a confidential report, but when and if it is agreed among the members of the board to make it public, they can do so. so in reality, that report of 2011 was made public and all the quarterly reports of the iaea are made public by the decision of the board of governors. in the future, if i provide assessment of possible military dimension and if the board of governors agreed, that would become public. >> thanks. barbara slater from the atlantic council and monitor.com.
does it surprise you that iran is not providing this information given that it's involved in very detailed negotiations with the p5 plus 1 on a long-term agreement? and is it your feeling that a long-term agreement should somehow be contingent on progress on pmd? or can that be something that i long-term agreement? >> we were in iran in august of this year, and i had an occasion to talk to president rouhani. he repeatedly stated that iran is willing to accelerate the process of the clarification of issues with possible military dimension. for now, the progress is limited, but i sense there is an
intention on the part of iran to accelerate the clarification of issues important to the negotiation between p5 plus 1 and iran is now ongoing. now is not the best time to make rapid progress. but it doesn't mean there will not be progress in the future. i continue to hope that this issue with possible military dimension will be clarified as soon as possible. this is the intention of iran to accelerate the process. it is also the intention of iaea to accelerate the process. i repeatedly said that this is not an endless process, and with
cooperation we can -- we can clarify these issues within a reasonable time frame. >> let me jump in on this pmd issue. there are expert who is say that it's going to be very difficult to get iran to provide a full confession of both past activity, especially activities that were directly related to a nuclear weapons program, and so it should be sufficient simply to have confidence that those activities are not continuing today and that we have monitoring measures in place that would enable us to determine whether they have resumed in the future. what do you think about that approach?
>> reasonable time frame. reasonable time line, you can have some image of doing some simple arithmetic. we have identified certain areas. we have the framework for cooperation and one step is normally for three months. if we take -- if we address three steps -- adjust every step, how long does it take? two step in one step? it's easy to foresee. it will not be three years. lit not be one month. it will be reasonable time line. and you can do your arithmetic at home. your question is about? >> whether it's necessary to get iran to confess all activity, even providing incriminating
information that those activities were directed at a weapons program and sufficient to have confidence that those activities have stopped and that we have monitoring measures sufficient to know whether they will resume. is that -- is that sufficient in your view, or do we need to really get clarity on what they actually did do in the past? >> first, the iaea is committed to do its best to clarifying on this issue. we also expect iran to be as transparent as possible. i very much value the meeting between experts when experts talk to their contact parts, they can have good understanding of the activities.
wld like to have access to people, to site, and to information. i have full confidence in the experts of the agency. they have been doing good job and will continue good job. then next step will be to report the assessment after having good understanding of the whole picture to the board of governors. and how to handle it, how to move from that point is a decision by the member states. and we are guide by the board of governors. >> thank you. how important for the future to make sure that it is a peaceful program that you people from the agency or any other agreement with p5 plus 1 will include searchers and announced visits to military sites?
>> millisiteitary sites. >> right. i believe you mentioned earlier weed look at the country as a whole, and i was wondering if it was so necessary to conduct this kind of unannounce ed visits an searches. >> i would like to give you an example of the additional protocol. in case of additional protocol, if we have a good reason to believe that some activity are undertaken in the military site, we can request access to that military site. the country can refuse that request, but then that country has to give good reason why they
cannot access. we also offer the so-called managed access where we have access to the military site. they are not allowed to compromise on their military interests. so this concept of managed access to a military site is already existing on the existing safeguards scheme. for military purpose is not the absolute reason to refuse access. in certain cases, we want to have access and they need to give access to us. >> thank you very much. i'm on west asia council. mr. amano, i'd like to ask that
you think of the dialectic between nonproliferation on the one hand and nuclear safety on the other, because recently a number of iran's neighbors in the persian gulf region, they're talking about the very scary prospect of an earthquake or some kind of a nuclear meltdown in bashir, which is not an active nuclear proliferation per se but equally dangerous to the future stability in that region. i'm wondering if in your work you are also focusing on that side of this debate. thank you. >> yes, we do. we are aware that many countries in particular the neighboring countries have interest in the safety for iranian nuclear facilities. we have sent a mission to review regularly for iran and we have given some recommendations.
that will help to assure the highest level of safety in iran. this case for earthquake was also raised by some member states. we are ready to send to expert missions to review that seismic aspect of the facility, but in sharing the safety and security and the responsibility of each country, sovereign state. and the role of the iaea is provide assistance upon request. therefore, if we have a request from iran to address and review and give advice for enhancing the safety, we are prepared to do so. >> back there.
>> what do you think you would do if tomorrow iran declare it is atomic bomb? thank you. >> too difficult question for me to answer. >> voice of america. yesterday you had a meeting with secretary of state john kerry. the general feeling is there's such a comprehensive agreement that everybody has a mind it will not be reached in november. in general do you think he left happier and more confident toward a reasonable agreement yesterday? yes. >> i think both are very happy
to exchange views on the matters of common interest. >> from university of maryland. i would like to ask you about the documents pertaining to the so-called alleged studies. has the agency independently verified the authenticity of these documents? and my second question is that what exactly is the reason behind not making these documents fully available to the iranians? thank you. >> sharing document was discussed in the negotiation between iran and iaea. they have discussed a structured approach. the structured approach is the
name of the negotiation that we engained after the board of governors resolution in november 2011. we have discussed modality or -- modality of sharing information during that negotiation. but that negotiation did not come -- did not come to an agreement. there was some good progress in many areas, or in this area, unless everything is agreed to, nothing is agreed. we have agreed -- we have discussed the issue of sharing document documents but there was no agreement and there was no
specific difference to the handling of documents in the framework for cooperation. the basic position of the iaea is that we have prepared to share the documents. i don't say which one, but share the documents when we consider appropriate and necessary. authentici authenticity, it is quite frequently discussed before i came to the iaea but that authenticity was not often discussed after i came to the agency. we are asking questions to clarify issues, and we elaborate our questions. we have given other questions in writing, or we have explained the background of the questions
until i think our counterpart understands the question well. this is to clarify the activities in iran. this process is not to verify the authenticity of document. >> from the embassy of ukraine. i have a slightly -- hmm? a slightly different question. you were talking about the nonstate actors and their possibility to acquire the nuclear materials and nuclear weapons. ill like to know your opinion. how should it work when this is actually detected? will it be the government will be held accountable for the
terrorist group operating in its territory or the actual terrorist group will be targeted? thanks. >> in sharing the highest level of nuclear security, it is under the responsibility of each government. so controlling the illicit trafficking is the responsibility of each government. however, the international organization has an important role to play to help them. the iaea has a database that collect the information on the illicit trafficking. we have thousands of pieces of information already. the information is very useful to analyze the trend. and understanding the facts and trend is very useful to establish the response.
in order to react to the possible illicit trafficking, countries need to have a trained customs officer or border goords to use the equipment to protect. the nuclear -- i'm not big on much. some are the size of blackberry. there are much bigger facilities more complicated to have that precise information. but to these weapons should be provided and should be trained. we need guidance to establish good practice. we give recommendation to enhance that nuclear safety.
on the other side, so prevent illicit trafficking of nuclear material is the responsibility of each state. but there is some role to play for the international organizations including ours and the iaea is playing the central role in enhancing the nuclear security. >> good morning. jay kramer. i'm a lawyer, practice focused on international nuclear trade and export controls. mr. director general, let me turn you from the nonproliferation pilar of the mtp to the disarmament pilar. what has the agency learned in the last decade or so with respect to its investigations in iran that have helped it to
verify a general treaty on nuclear disarmament and perhaps expressed as a multiple of the agency's current resources? what level of resources would it take the agency to verify such a general treaty on nuclear disarmament? thank you. >> the iaea has some expertise in the area of verification and if requested we are ready to make our expertise available to implement the agreed nuclear disarmament treaties. but the iaea is not a negotiating body for nuclear disarmament agreement. nonetheless, we do not place confidence in disarmament in geneva. we do not replace the first committee of the united nations either. the negotiation belongs to other
bodies or other countries. and once the agreements are reached and when we are asked to provide assistance by using our expertise in verification, we'll consider such assistance. >> yes, sir. >> mr. director general, greg giles with aic. you referenced your august trip to tehran. i'm wondering if in your discussions with iranian officials -- you mentioned president rouhani -- did you get the sense that the civilian leadership in iran would perhaps like to be more forthcoming and help clarify the pmd issues that it's the military, the islamic revolutionary guard core, that stands in the way?
>> i cannot generalize what i had from the iranian leader. i'm there if there is any. and i would like to accelerate the process and willing to cooperate with on the iaea. i think there is some political will to clarify the issue. not making clear the progress as we expect, but we continue to work with iranian counterparts to clarify the other issues.
>> what do you think is the biggest challenge in achieving a nuclear weapon-free zone in the middle east? >> dialogue is very important. i joined the iaea in 2005, and there is a resolution of the general conference in 2001 requesting me to host a forum to learn from the experience of other nuclear weapon-free zones. it is not that easy.
it was three years before we could finally convene that forum. the iaea hosted the forum in 2011 with the presence of israel and of course arab state. and despite the complexity of the issue and difference of views, we could have a very constructive discussions. so i believe that we need to continue that dialogue, and iaea is in support of the establishment of nuclear weapon-free zone in the middle east. but it is not an easy issue and we will keep on following this issue. >> let me come back to the agency's investigation of the
possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear program. you mentioned access to individuals. you mentioned access to locations. we know individuals that we believed were engaged in some of these activities. we know locations that some of these activities took place. how can you assess the relative importance of gaining access to sites, gaining access to individuals? and how successful has the agency been. obviously the access to the parchin facility, there were two occurrences in the past where the agency went there, didn't look exactly at the place that is of particular concern and it's been rebuffed constantly in recent years. but what about access to
individuals? it would seem to me that one of the most effective ways of keeping tabs on iranian nuclear activities is to have continuing access to individuals, not a one-time interview where the subject of the interview might be misleading, may not tell the truth, and so forth, but continuing, follow-on access to gain some confidence that people who have the greatest expertise in some of the military related aspects of nuclear energy are working on civilian programs and are not providing their expertise to a military program. how do you evaluate the relative importance of these different forms of access? the iaea is seeking access to cite people and information related to other issues with military -- with possible
military dimension. but these are very difficult issues. that's why, for example, we have requested access to the site of parchin from a very early stage, but that access has not yesterday been granted. access to people, scientists, very sensitive issue in iran because of their experience in the recent years. but we keep on requesting to have access to site and information to clarify the matter. >> brookings institution. mr. director general, i wanted to ask, you got the opportunity to work with two different heads of iran's atomic energy agency,
one around the ahmadinejad administration and then ally akbar under the current rouhani administration. could you maybe touch on the difference in approaches between the two head and your relationship with both men? thanks. >> they are very different type of people. but different but it was very useful for me to have dialogue with both of them. style is different. but both of them have good understanding of the issue and i benefitted from the dialogue. the difference doesn't bother me. i'm ready to work with everyone. >> hi. i have a question about what are
the measures that the iaea can take in order to prevent the inappropriate use of dual-use material? and what do you view as the role of trade controls and how can the iaea support that? >> i didn't quite understand. >> yeah, sure. so my question is what are some of the measures that the iaea can take in order to prevent the his misappropriate -- >> reuse of dual-use -- >> -- of dual-use materials? and what do you envision is the role that trade controls can play in this issue? >> we are not in charge of the trade of dual-use technologies, but whether some technology or material is dual purpose or not, only for military purpose or can be diverted, our function and
our responsibility is prevent the diversion of material, facility, equipments for other use other than a peaceful use. materials, equipment, facilities for military purpose. >> i know you have other requirements, you've got to move on. you've got a busy schedule in washington. i thank you. i thank our audience, because i think they have come up with a range of questions that, you know, cover the waterfront. you've got a hard job and we wish you the best of luck. thank you. [ applause ]. >> thank you.
c-span's campaign 2014 is bringing you more than 100 debates this season. coverage continues tonight on c-span with an alaska debate between mark begich and dan sullivan. here's a look at recent ads running in the state. zoo i'm megan sullivan. you've soon a lot of ads attacking my family, so i wanted you to know the facts. alaska has been my family's home for generations. my dad is teaching my sisters and me to handle a rifle, fish and be strong, independent, honest women.
we've learned a lot about his sacrifice from his service in afghanistan. we are proud of his work to help alaskan women against dough mettic violence. >> i'm dan sullivan and i approve this message. >> when we were young, our father loved to bring us here. to this spot. when things seemed impossible, i tried to do what he would have done. like, when i took on obama to open up drilling in the arctic. also took him on to protect our gun rights and exempt alaska schools from no child left behind. i'm fighting like hell to fix the health care law so it works for alaska. i'm mark begich and i approve this message because i will go anywhere and work with anyone to do what's right for alaskans. >> i served with dan sullivan in the united states marine corps. >> dan sullivan was one of those leaders that led by example. he trained hundreds of alaskan marines to be ready in cold conditions. >> i see that in dan sullivan. >> this country, let alone this
state was built by people like dan sullivan. >> when times got tough, he didn't take no for an answer. >> he cares about his fellow alaskans, his fellow countrymen. if dan sullivan says he's going to do something, i believe him. >> what was mark begich's real record as mayor? he eliminated a $33 million deficit and invested in police, firefighters and schools. then as senator, he took on obama to fix alaska's va. exempt our schools from no child left behind and is taking responsibility for fixing the health care law so it works for alaska. >> i'm mark begich and i approve this message because i will go anywhere and work with anyone to do what's right for alaskans. >> recent polling has listed the alaska senate race as a tossup. see the candidates debate tonight at 8 p.m. eastern. at 10 p.m. republican david brad and democrat jack trim will
debate for va are's seventh congressional seat after eric cantor lost the republican primary. it's all tonight on our companion network c-span. be part of c-span's campaign 2014 coverage. follow us on twitter and "like" us on facebook. to get debate schedules, video clips of key moments, debate previews from our politics team. c-span is bringing you over 100 senate, house and governor debates and you can instantly share your reactions to what the candidates are saying. the battle for control of congress. stay in touch and engaged by following us on twitter @c-span and liking us on facebook at fa facebo facebook.com/c-span. american history tv travels to u.s. cities. this week we partnered with comcast for a visit to colorado springs colorado.
>> in 1806 montgomery pike was sent into the american southwest to explore the region. very similar to lewis and clark, who were sent to the northwestern part of the newly acquired louisiana territory. pike was sent to the southwest part of the territory. and from his perspective, when he came out here, he really walked off the map. he went to an area that was unknown. when pike first sees the grand peak, he thinks he'll reach the top of it in just a few days. but it really takes weeks to approach. they reached what we believe is a lower mountain on the flanks of pike's peak called mt. rosa. so, they turned around and at that point pike wrote in his journals that given the conditions, given the equipment that they had at the time, no one could have summited the peak. pike's peak inspired the poem that became "america the
beautiful" written by katherine lee bates who came here to colorado springs to teach a summer course at colorado college in 1893. and the view down to the plains from the top of the mountain inspired the poetry. it inspired the images that are captured in that poetry of the united states. >> watch all of our events from colorado springs saturday at noon eastern on c-span 2's book tv and sunday after at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3. coming up, vice president joe biden and u.s. chamber of commerce president and ceo thomas donahue speak at a forum on youth employment and workforce development. it's an event hosted by the u.s. chamber of commerce foundation and the urban alliance. it's about an hour and 20 minutes. good morning. my name is nathanial cole.
i started my journey with urban alliance ten years ago as a high school intern at the world bank. today i am honored to serve as executive director for our d.c. program. i stand on the shoulders of board members, partners, urban alliance staff and alum who have paved the way for what urban alliance is today. and i thank each and every one of you. my journey from intern to executive director has allowed me the unique experience and opportunity to see the benefits of early employment firsthand. it also has allowed me to witness the transformative impact of urban alliance internships. as a teenager, i would imagine what it would be like to enter into a professional environment. a suit, a tie, going to conference -- going into a conference room, sitting at the large table and making hard decisions. this was as an intern.
urban alliance quickly taught me that i had master filing, faxing, photocopying and attention to detail first. talk about an adjustment. but urban alliance really transformed my professional aspirations into real experiences. every step of the way, they coached me. i am blessed to be able to do that for d.c. youth today. in a moment, one of the most amazing young men i've had the opportunity to work with will introduce vice president biden. jonathan hill is a 2012 alum of urban alliance and a sophomore at moore house college. jonathan represents urban alliance young people. he has a relentless drive and exceptional talent. and jonathan, like many ua youth, came to urban alliance looking for a platform to be able to succeed. with guidance from urban alliance and support from his mentors, jonathan, like urban alliance alum and interns, are
able to showcase their talents and are able to thrive as young professionals. urban alliance youth, similar to my 17-year-old self, were hungry and are hungry for opportunities to showcase their abilities. they are willing to fight against challenges and overcome obstacles in order to create and establish a better life for themselves. but they can't do it alone. with all of the potential that our young people have, they need opportunity coupled with support. and that comes from companies like yours and organizations and programs like urban alliance. when the two come together, the result is something amazing. it is a generation of young people with limited -- limbless potential and a commitment to community. jonathan represents such a generation. we are honored to have offered him experiences and
encouragement to support his professional trajectory. it is my pleasure to introduce a young man that we should all take note of, mr. jonathan hill. [ applause ] >> good morning, good morning. i had a stool up here. i'm kind of small. but i hope everyone can see me and hear me. it gives me great pleasure to be here tote. i would like to thank mr. nate cole for all his hard work, all the work urban alliance has done for me. it's going to be an abhazing hunt to introduce the vice president. arne duncan traveled to atlanta for his annual bus tour. him and the first lady came and spoke to us students. they empowered us. they instilled the morals this administration sees for us to move forward. but the day before i toured the atlanta civil rights museum where i heard one of the most
profound speeches by dr. martin luther king jr. in this speech he defined himself pep defined how he wanted others to define him. at the end of the day, he just wanted everyone to know he lived a life of servitude. just hearing him and seeing the video, it reminded me, it illuminated in my mind what i want myself to be. i want others to think of me as jonathan hill, the man living the life of servitude. and the guy who did his homework, the guy who put in the hard work. not just for himself but others as well. that's what urban alliance has done for me so i stretch to all current and future employers of urban alliance, to make the crucial impact on a young person's life. we not only ask for you all to be our supervisors but our mentors as well. yes, the paycheck is a pivotal piece of the process. and yes we also need support
from a great organization, but there's something in between. there's a moment we need you all to connect with us. surface relationships are not enough anymore. urban alliance interns do not refer to you all as supervisors. we really need that bond, that relationship between one another. by doing so you create that passion, you push us forward, you empower us to not only pursue a higher education but just to become a better person. so let me illuminate to you all what that looks like. i have become a better worker. i feel supportive in my major and i've gained more in those holistic eight hours than i would anywhere else. as i leave you here today as an urban alliance alum, it is only right for me to leave you with four notes. continue to have these chris cal conversation bringing the youth
into the workforce. pursue healthy relationship with your interns. not just the supervisors, but like i said, as mentors. we need you all. be the change agent we need and allow us to pursue a higher education. and lastly, create an experience that will enhance our passion in the field of study. so, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the united states vice president joe biden. >> hello, everyone. how are you? good morning. sit down. thank you. thank you very much. backstage jonathan was telling me that he's a moorehouse man.
i told him i've been to morehouse. when i was in high school in college, i worked the east side of wilmington with my friends. i got so tired of hearing the debates between what's better, moorehouse or morgan state between spencer henry and my buddies. i've got to tell you, jonathan, i think delaware state university is the best. i tell you what, man, jonathan, keep me in mind because i don't know what i'm going to be doing in two years, but i may be looking for a job. so, remember me. just remember me. when they tell you joe biden's at the door, don't say, joe who? that's the only thing i ask you. tom, it's good to see you, pal. and jacque, thank you for greeting me and the chamber for hosting this. the urban alliance leaders,
nathanial and shauna and my good friend tom. i saw him back there. i said, come home, tom, we need you, at the state department. by the way there's something, tom, i noticed. everybody who leaves the administration looks a heck of a lot better. they dress better. everything seems to be working. they don't have any stress in their face. i don't know what the story is. and i want to thank andrew and mary and amy for the great job you've done in urban alliance, which i've only recently become acquainted with in terms of this chapter. you're focusing on one of the most critical junctures for young people at age 16 to 24, 18 to 24. if you're out of work and out of school, it doesn't bode well for you statistically when you're going to be 35 and 45.
so, this new jobs report out this morning, hopefully, will provide a lot more opportunities, some good news. through the grit and determination of american people and ingenuity of the american people. more than private sector jobs have been created, 55 straight months. continues the longest streak in american history, 248,000 jobs this month. i'm told the last two months have been estimated up from what they were. unemployment rate below 6%, 5.9%. it was 10%. that's a good thing. you can clap for that. and by the way, i want to make clear, we're not taking credit for all this. i meant what i said about the ingenuity about the marketplace. i meant what i said about the way in which the american people have showed such incredible grit
and determination. but combine that with the fact that we've reduced the federal deficit to share of gdp by 50%. fastest rate since end of world war ii. the economy is recovering so there's reasons to celebrate. the economy is recoverying on a macro economic sense. but below the surface here, there's a lot of discontent still. the middle class isn't moving like it should. the middle class is taking it hard. not just the last eight, ten years but it's been somewhat in decline since the mid-90s -- or mid-'80s. we need to do what we can to get middle class folk back in the pathway. if you look at the average middle class wage since 2002 to today, it's gone up 14 cents. 14 cents.
so, there's a reason there's discontent out there. with all the good news, where the stock market is, total wealth of nation over $70 trillion, et cetera, people are still hurting. you say, joe, what does that have to do with what we're all here today? well, i think it has a whole hell of a lot to do with it. it has to do with setting down pathways to get to the middle class so people are in a position to be able to have a shot. because in order to lead the world economically, in my view, in the 21st century, we have to do two things. two things we're not doing enough of. there is bipartisan consensus by the vast majority of democrats and republicans to do it. we just can't get out of this rut we're in in terms of the dysfunction of this town. one is we need to invest significantly more in infrastructure. i know the chamber has been pushing that and leading that effort. but, you know, businesses go where productive rest and productivity is related to
infrastructure. asve $3 trillion inrilon in infrastructure improvements just by the year 2020. so there's a lot to do and tremendous opportunities if we grab hold of it. but the second thing we have to do is we have to have the most skilled workforce in the world. tom, you and i have talked about this. as a matter of fact, you talked about it before most people did. you know, america is -- you know, i don't know how many discussions have probably taken place in this room. i had one a while ago, tom, with y'all. you were kind enough to invite me. where we basically talked about is china going to lead the world in the 21st century economically? i remember ten years ago, are we going to be able to compete with the eurozone? raise your hand if anybody thinks we'll have trouble competing with either in the next 10 to 12 years?
folks, we want -- it's very important that the eurozone succeed. it's very important china succeed. it's in our interest they do that. but in terms of who's best positioned in the 21st century to lead the world economically, it's not close. north america is and will continue to be the remainder of this 2 isst century, epicenter of the world. not in the hemisphere in the world. we still have the most imaginative venture capitalists in the world, the greatest research universities in the world. we have the most productive workers in the world. american workers by every reputible study shows they work three times than china. we find ourselves in a position where if we put these last two pieces together, people are
going to continue to be coming home. when's the last time you heard the word outsourcing? we went through a whole generation where all we talked about was outsourcing. we had great political fights about whether or not we should interfere, impact. legitimate philosophical disagreements. now we're going to be fighting about in-sourcing. what do we do about it? because folks are coming home. a.t. carney report, largest -- i think it's 500 industrialists they do worldwide. america is the best place to invest in the world by a margin larger than any time since they have kept statistics in every category. from manufacturing, every single category. boston consulting group is not the only one, but does a survey every year of those invested and
they picked china. companies invested in china. the manufacturing facility, 54% this year, they're asked the same question every year, what are your plans for this year? we're considering coming home. so, folks, there's going to be great, great opportunity if we're smart. but we've got to do two things. we've got to do two things. again, they shouldn't be difficult except anywhere in the world and that is this is town -- that is infrastructure and have the most highly skilled workforce in the world. and that's where the urban alliance comes in. your private sector partners are key to the second point. building a skilled workforce. even when the economy is doing well in the '90s, you understood, the urban alliance, that young people were still twice as likely to be unemployed as the overall population. young black men were four times as likely to be unemployed. and young hispanics were three times as likely to be unemployed.
then along came that god awful recession that decimated opportunities for everybody, but particularly for young people. unemployment rate among young people increased 27%. from 2007 to 2009 it we want to 26.8%. during that same period, the unemployment rate for young people 20 to 24 increased 80% from 8.7% to 15.8%. and even as the economy recovers it's estimated that 6.7 young people ages 16 to 24 are not going to be able to obtain the skills and work experience they need to succeed because they're neither in school nor in a job. to use that old expression, this isn't rocket science. it's the foundation you have surely impacts on disproportionately the prospects you have. and so when you're in a
situation where you are neither in school or have a job at the critical moment in your life, it's -- it doesn't bode well for your pros spepects. but you've never taken your eye off the ball. you're fixing the broken pipeline. the pipeline between 16 and 24. you've been worked on it since '79. you're fixing it. and you're equipping young people, as you just saw from jonathan, with the skills they need to climb the ladder to a good paying middle class job. take the internships and partnerships you've created with businesses and government. it's a success. since '96, 1,500 young people have gone through the internship program. 100% graduated from high school.
75% enrolled in college. and 80% of these students have stayed in college. today a very critical statistic. not just enroll, but staying. you've built a strong alumni network so students like jonathan don't graduate from a program. they, instead, invest back in success of the program by donating their time and becoming mentors themselves. because the other thing we know from experience on a whole range of subjects, the people who most influence young people are their peers. graduates will tell you and you heard it today -- i know you know it -- they've obtained a better job, better wages than their peers who haven't had the same opportunity. everyone from the office of personal management led by katherine -- are you here? i can't see you. you're doing a great job for us, by the way. led by katherine to the world
bank and companies large and small have benefitted from the urban alliance interns. a every single one of those interns will learn skills to last them a lifetime. how to work well with others. how to pay attention to detail. how to communicate in a professional environment. they're being exposed. they're being exposed to in-demand fields such as information technology and business. and to people in those fields who show them how to pursue the future, they once thought was out of reach. i thought jonathan was interesting, he said, don't just mentor me. don't just show me how to do it. help me out, be my friend, give me a little confidence. that's basically what you were saying, as i read it. but it's true. you know how it works. it works that way with every one of your colleagues, whether or not when they come into your operation, whether or not they are coming out of a deprived circumstance or graduated from a
great university with privilege. it's the same thing. it really isn't -- it's hard but it's not that hard. and what you've done is teach them -- i had an old friend who was a great basketball player. played with reardon and walker -- anyway, his name was pete mclaughlin. he passed away as a young man. he was 50. but he wasn't the sharpest academic candle on the table, but he was a smart guy. pete used to have an expression that i think is appropriate. and jonathan, you might want to use it. he played at providence college. he didn't go to moorehouse. but used to say, you got to know how to know. let me say it again. you got to know how to know. those of us who come from backgrounds where our parents gave us real opportunities, we
learned how to know without knowing we were learning. it was just part of the fabric of what we did. yeah, i can walk you into the library of congress. unless you know how to go to the computer or use a card catalog, it doesn't matter. you've got to know how to get to what you need. that's the incredible thing, i think, the urban alliance is doing. and so when i was asked by the president in the state of the union to put together a program on workforce training so we would end up in the coming years the best trained workforce in the world, i literally took a look at your program. we looked all over. we went to every -- every initiative that was going on in the country to try to get a sense of what worked and what didn't work. and when we looked at you guys, we made -- it became pretty
clear that you had the basic ingredients to how to help people in this codry i've described have the best shop. the partnerships the urban alliance builds are the kind of alliances we need across the country. between businesses, union, nonprofit associations. you know six out of ten jobs in the next ten years are going to require something beyond a high school diploma. it can be a 15-week certificate at a community college. it can be a two-year associate's degree, four-year degree or ph.d. but they need something beyond, something beyond high school. just consider the following in the study we did. information technology, we're going to need 1.4 million jobs are needed over the next ten years.
in i.t. from software developers average salary, $68,000, typically needs a bachelor degree. computer network specialist, average salary, $59,000. do not need a college degree but a two-year degree. you know, i was out at ust global. i was out in -- i went all around the country to take a look at some programs going on. and i went to detroit, which is just getting off its knees. i mean, detroit has been battered. there was an outfit out -- not there, but national outfit called u schls it global. in a sense, they do more than this, they're placement operation for small i.t. and large i.t. firms. i think you know them here. they invited me to come by this program they had going on at a community college, inner city, detroit. i walked in and there was -- i
think it was -- don't hold me to it, i think it was a 15-week program and there was a group of women from the neighborhood, or from the hood. every one of these women, the youngest was 24, i believe, and the oldest was 58. and there were about two dozen of them. and they had two more weeks to go. and what they were learning was they were learning computer programming. these are people with high school degrees coming out of the most hard scrapple neighborhoods, every one of them, in detroit. every one had a job. the lowest starting salary, $58,000. the highest, $81,000. because in detroit, there's an immediate need now for 1,000 programmers in the city now. every one of those women has a
job. average job, $65,000 a year. health care, we need 65,000 dental hygienists in the seven terms. median salary, $57,000. registered nurses, we're short over 638,000 registered nurses in america. average salary, $65,000 to $75,000 a year. psychiatric nurses, 300,000 women and men coming home from afghanistan and iraq with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. salary, $85,000 a year. and it can be an internship on the job. while you are working as a registered nurse.
advanced manufacturing, you guys at the chamber know this better than anybody. the need for 100,000 jobs going unfilled right now. right this minute in the united states of america. companies that have returned or never left and are expanding. some require bachelor's degrees, very few. some two-year degrees but most of them just require training that's somewhere between three months and six months. dow in michigan, built a facility. needed 1,000 employees. found out they couldn't find people with voltic to operate their machines, having to do with solar shingles. so with a federal grant, teamed up with a local community college. brought in their managers, their machines, off the factory floor
into the community college and created a conveyor belt. average salary started, $54,000 a year, if memory serves me. the point is there are incredible opportunities for workers but also for business. for business. and for young people. but we need to build partnerships and figure out what local employers are looking for and find ways to equip people with the skills. see, there's this need out here. not just in i.t. i'm not going to bore you with the rest of the report, but there's this enormous need that business has. looking for skilled employees. there is this enormous pool of americans who want to work. the one thing i don't agree with is with my friends in the congress and other places suggest the american people don't work. they didn't come from the neighborhood i come from. i don't know anyone who doesn't want to work, given a fair shot. and there is this gap between
the skills needed and the workers knowing what skill is needed and figuring out how to get those skills. where to get them and how to pay to get them. and that's what working with the chamber and federal government and local governments and community colleges, we're beginning to do. that's why early this week i announ announced a $450,000 investment in competitive grants to 71 partnerships between community colleges and businesses all over the united states of america. cluck partners like organized labor. the partnerships provide a seamless transition so folks can move from the classroom directly to a job. that they can raise a family on. we have a big fight, i know, about minimum wage. i won't get into that all with you here. i think you're dead wrong about minimum wage. that's a different deal. i got it. but these aren't minimum wage
jobs. these are jobs you can actually maybe own a home and not rent. live in a neighborhood maybe you can send your kid to the park where you don't have to worry about him getting beat up. send their kid to a school that if they did well, they got a shot to get to college. if you get into college, you'll figure out a way to get them there. maybe in the meantime, you're able to take care of your gear at trick mom or dad because one of your parents just died. and hope not to have your children take care of you. that's middle class, man. that's all it is. but that's everything it is. that's everything it is. so i don't look at what y'all are doing in urban alliance figuring getting kids off the street, off the corner, that's important. you're getting them on a pathway where they may be able to live that life. i know i'm referred to as middle
class joe because i talk about the middle class a lot. i know in this town it's not a compliment to say you're middle class because it means you're not sophisticated. middle class built this country. it's the social glue that holds the country together. and so we got to figure more ways to find pathways for people to get there. i think of employees who feel they're in a dead-end job. those partnerships provide pathways to better jobs. think of the workers who are just getting started, hungry to learn a new skill, moving up the ladder. those partnerships you're providing help get them there. i'll give you another example. monroe college, up in rochester, new york. rochester, new york, i used to go to syracuse university, a lot of my friends from rochester. when i was growing up, a young man, rochester was a vibrant, vibrant, vibrant middle class city. it had kodak, i'm not sure about
the number, about 35,000 employees, i think. nobody had a minimum wage job. all really good paying jobs. a lot of engineers. a lot of people making a really good salary. had baush and lombe, a number of other operations. it fell on hard time. kodak not only stopped making brownies, they stopped making film. i think they're down under 10,000 employees. baush & lombe the same way. the optic industry in the meantime has changed radically as well. that's why they're in trouble. they didn't adapt. so, what happened was in monroe community college on their own initiative went out and surveyed businesses. i think it was 200 businesses in the greater -- in the two-county area. many of them still engaged in
optics. for example, the lens on the mars rover is made by one of the companies in that city. what they found out was that these big -- these businesses needed employees. so, they partnered with a bunch of these businesses and with the community college and they set up apprenticeship programs. the jobs paying $60,000 a year. all high school graduates. no one with any advanced degrees. all high school graduates and they're transforming the community. considering the apprenticeship program at ford and uaw together, which gives workers a chance to earn while they learn. after they complete the program, workers earn about 68,000 arnold schwarzenegger $68,000 a year if they work 60 hours a week and over $100,000 a year if they work overtime.
partnerships are good for business and good for the economy. we need more. we're looking at all of you in the private sector to get more engaged and build more of these partnerships. here's what i know for sure. the american people, they want to work. as my dad would say, i don't want the government to give me anything. i just want them to understand my problem. don't give me anything. just understand my problem. well-being you all understand your needs and i'm preaching to the choi here, you're in here, you understand the problem. and given a fair chance the american people have never, ever let their country down. thart reason why it's never a good idea, as i think you reminded me, tom, my saying to president hu and vice president xi when they were commiserating about how america will come back. i pointed out it's never, never,
never been a good bet to bet against america. never. never. so, folks, because of what the urban alliance is doing and a lot of other alliances like it all across the nation, and what i consider -- i come from -- and i'll conclude this -- i come from what was facetiously referred to as i got elected -- the state of dupont. i come from the corporate state of america i have dealt with and had alliances with major businesses my entire career. and i think there's a lot of things going on here. one thing that's going on is business is beginning to figure out how to deal with the new realities of the 21st century in a way that as it becomes more apparent, they see the possibilities of partnering like you're doing right here with the urban alliance. it's ultimately about growing
that pie. growing that pie. so, everybody does well. i compliment the chamber for their involvement. i compliment the alliance and i -- i compliment you all for taking so much time to be engaged. thank you. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, this is a fascinating place. and we have political and economic discussions and debates here morning noon and night. and we come together today with
all of the people the vice president complimented. and with his encouragement and leadership to do something we all agree on and that's put americans to work. so, mr. vice president, i want to thank you for your leadership on this. i want to continue to invite to you come back for the debates we like to have. and and i will start looking around for what you might do in two years. >> thank you. thank you very much. while i get organized here. many of you haven't been here
before. so stick your head back and look up at the ceiling. you'll see it's the history. the opening of the western world. all of the flags -- this is called the hall of flags. all of those flags are flags that represented the explorers that came here from christopher columbus to all the rest of them. and you can't see it very well. but the ceiling is the history of how we built our country. and it's once in a while a great idea to come in here and think about the people that did all of those things. and then stop and realize we have nothing to complain about. we have far more assets to meet our challenges than they did. and so welcome here. mary, thank you for being here. and my congratulations on an extraordinary program. and thank you all for being here
today. i'd like to formally thank the urban alliance for its leadership and its partnership as well as jacque mckennan and chamber foundation center for education and workforce for all the work and effort that they put in to getting us together and to supporting this work. and, of course, we appreciate the vice president for being here. he is -- he's a fascinating fellow. no, really. by the way, we're a bunch of irish guys and we fight all the time about issues but on matters of great significance to this country, he's a very serious man. and we enjoy having him here. he's been -- he comes here all the time. and it's sort of good for the neighborhood. now, the vice president and i, as i said, don't always agree but we come together on issues
like education and job creation and the national security of the united states. neither the vice president nor i had our opportunities handed to us. instead, we earned them with the support of great families who showed us how to work. working hard, getting a decent education, taking a few risks, sticking it out when things got hard and ultimately building a career. oh, by the way, the thing they left off the script and we had a lot of luck. luck helps. we share the goal of making sure the same bargain, the same opportunity is available to every single young person today. yet many young people in this country wonder if the american dream is still available to them. some question whether they'll have the chance to make it, whether opportunity is really limited -- limitless these days.
look, i can give you all so many reendz why it's hard but i can give you so many reasons why you can make it in this country. one of the issues that is really a problem right now is we have areas of this country that desperately need workers. you heard the vice president talking about specific places. and we have areas in this country where workers are looking for jobs. it's still pretty hard to talk people to go to work in north dakota. it's 40 degrees below zero in the winter. i make it my business to go there in the summer. but we have to look to those challenges. many young people in this country are going to have those opportunities. i call them the opportunities of youth. the over 6 million americans between the age of 16 and 24 who are being some people think they're at risk of being shut out of the economy. i'm going to tell you why that's not true.
because the old guys are going to die. and retire. and stop working. and the young guys have got to go to work. ladies and gentlemen, the young people have to go to work. we have no choice. those of us at the other end of the spectrum, you own the future. it's yours. you're going to have a chance to get it. you better get prepared. there are a lot of people here that are out of school or have been out of school and out of work. but this organization has shown them they're not out of options. there's no need to lose hope. there's need to get up early and look for a job as if you had a job. looking for a job is a job. have you to have a strategy, call people you don't know, figure out how to do it.
it's a full-time job. our nation, there's lots of people without jobs. and there are lots of companies and organizations desperately trying to find people to fill those jobs. we can look at them as two distinct problems or as a solution. the challenge that brings us all together here today are bringing those opportunities, bridging the opportunity gap for the next generation to take over what it is we are about to give up. it won't be easy but we've got to do it. it's not just the future of the young people here but the future of young people all over the country. the economic and competitive future of this country will be fundamentally determined on how we respond to this challenge. it is not sufficient to say we have lots of young people ready to go to work. in this modern economy, we need lots of young people with hard and soft skills.
so, let me speak for a minute from the business perspective. the business community is highly engaged and deeply interested in solving youth unemployment and its underlying causes for the reasons i've begun to talk about. i'll start with the obvious again. business needs workers. no workers, no business. we need a steady flow of talent to keep operating just as much as a manufacturer needs a stable supply of energy to run his system. but few u.s. students are emerging from our public education system with the skills and knowledge that they need to succeed. and, therefore, have to find other places to get it. too many lack proficiency. in math, science, reading and critical thinking. and we're not talking about
ph.d.s. if you are a student who can't read, who can't calculate and can't operate in a business environment or in a community environment, you have got to find help to correct that problem. that is a fundamental to being considered for a training program. many people also are not developing the soft skills that are important to a work environment and important to getting a job. teamwork, communication, simple understanding of how to behave and operate in a work environment. sometimes i repeatedly -- something i hear repeatedly from employers is how difficult is-t is to find qualified candidates so we've got 4 million jobs that we want to fill. where do we get those candidates? and don't forget in a global
economy, many and jobs follow the talent. if businesses capital find the workers they need here in this town and in this country, and very have loss of options. they can take their work somewhere else. you can't blame them. they have to meet their own objectives and the objectives of the market or they're going to get rid of the people that are running the businesses. we don't have to let any of that. we've got the people here. weave got the best in the world, as the vice president said. we've got to give them a chance to realize their potential and put it to work in the economy. it's good for business. it's critical for competitiveness. but most of all, it's great for the american system and for all americans. young people who are given the tools and the opportunity to participate in our economy are also productive members of society. they are more likely to avoid some of life's biggest
challenges and they are more likely to contribute to their community. but those who do slip through the cracks, those who don't graduate from high school, who don't find a career path, risk a life of struggle. especially our most disadvantaged populations. the paper released by the urban alliance today reports that every young adult who drops out of the economy will cost the economy $700,000 in his or her lifetime. why don't we take 10% of that and fix the problem? or 20% or 30%? [ applause ] through free enterprise, business can create opportunities for workers. and businesses can do better. there is no question. we're not a panacea of we know exactly how to do everything. we're learning how to do it better. how to do it faster and more
effectively than anyone else has been able to do. that brings me to the most important question. how do we do it? how do we take all of these people without jobs and all of these jobs without people and how do we match them up? that's the last point i want to make. that's bridging the opportunity gap. to start we have to get all the stakeholders involved in improving our public k through 12 schools and creating job training programs that meet the needs of our economy. and we can debate how to do that. we can debate this program versus that program. but if we don't have a k through 12 system that give people the fundamental tools to take the next step, shame on us. shame on us no matter what our political persuasions, no matter what our lives are involved in,
whether we're work in business, work in the labor union, whether we're a doctor, a lawyer, an indian chief. this is the fundamental challenge this country faces. we need our nation's policymakers to rally around real public education reform. we need state leaders to create good policy. we need organizations like urban alliance not only to provide the research and the programs, but put the pressure on the rest of us. a few years ago the business community realized we couldn't just pass the issue off to policymakers and administrators. after all, business is the largest single consumer of the product. the education product. we knew we had to be advocates, advisers, active participants and engaged leaders. on the advocacy front, the chamber and its members have been some of the most vocal proponents of education reform. we continue to push for critical
reform to our public school system. we want higher standards, accountability, stronger teachers, supportive parents. it's a team support. the chamber's foundation and workforce is using a three-year grant from the daniels fund to help address these skill gaps and help find ways to get from here to there. business is also well-positioned to advise policymakers and educator educators, we know what skills young people need because we know what we need to hire. and we know those skills come from inside and outside the classroom. that's why active partnerships like the ones we're developing here are critical to getting from here to there. i can teach -- these systems can teach men and woman the value of hard work. the opportunity of hard work and inspire them to pursue promising
can rears. the earlier we reach a student, the luckier we seem to get. so, we're supporting a lot of the work of the urban alliance and their model of reaching high school students before they have a chance to disconnect. in february we'll be bringing together an even broader group of stakeholders at a national opportunity summit, which the chamber foundation is co-hosting with opportunity nation and jobs for american graduates and the business roundtable and lots of other people. in just a few minutes, you'll hear directly from some of those business leaders. bank america, marriott and morgan stanley, sitting right down there. they're taking lead on this issue and we want to support them. when all is said and done, we must have superior skills. small job training programs and full and equal opportunity for
all, but if we don't have a robust economy, if we don't have people that are prepared to go to work, we are going to pay a horrific price. we can have a great debate about the best way to generate growth. we can have a great debate about how we should create jobs, but the secret we at the chamber have to share in those debates is, let's go do it. we have to recognize that government doesn't create jobs or ensure opportunity. they support people that try and do that. the private sector has a fundamental responsibility to act in its fear of interest in a vigorous way. growth alone's not going to solve our problems. the more growth we get, the more solutions we have to our problems. so, i just simply want to say, welcome to the chamber of commerce of the united states. before you leave, look up in the
air and think about those people that came here as immigrants. think about those people noted on those flags that got on those little boats, bounced all the way here across oceans. you know, put up with all the challenges and stop and realize, our challenges aren't so great. we have opportunity everywhere. we have a supportive government. we have civil society. we have people that want to hire you. the last thing to understand, though, is you've got take the responsibility. you have to be your own best friend. you have to go out and do what it takes to succeed. and i welcome you here. i remind you about our forefathers and i look forward to seeing when you come back here to work. good-bye. [ applause ]
i thank you for being with us and sticking with us here today. we promise to be brief and allow you to keep on your schedule. we have really a tremendous group of people here that we want to hear a little bit about. that really brings the real world community to this conversation. and let me just say that it is a real great honor to be here with the u.s. chamber foundation and with the urban alliance, who like my organization, the urban institute, believe in using evidence and analysis to find solutions to these problems. every business that is a member of the chamber i am sure makes the decisions about where they make their investments because they have looked at the data and seen what's working for their businesses. the urban alliance is the brave and rare non-profit that does the same for its program work. the urban institute has been proud to be working with them for six years so far now together thanks to many of their
supporters, including the world bank and now the social innovation fund and the -- make sure -- venture philanthropy partners. they made possible for us to develop a random control trial that will help determine how and in what ways the urban alliance program -- we believe that we will find this. but that's what the data will tell us. is making a difference in the lives of the young people. they will look at earnings and graduation rates and employment outcomes and see if these programs are making a real difference. and that is a really powerful and important step that they're willing to subject their work to that kind of rigorous analysis. we also have here with us today companies that are essential partners with the urban alliance. melody, who is working with a wide range of companies on this. you have their bios.
i'm going to mention briefly who we have. to my right we have andrew plepler, corporate social responsibility and consumer policy executive for bank of america. he played a special and important role in the founding of the urban alliance in an earlier life. we also have tom ni de s, vice chairman at morgan stanley, served as deputy secretary of state. a wide range of interests. and is a board member of the urban alliance. we have kathleen matthews, chief global communications and public affairs officer at marriott international and someone well-known to anyone who has been watching local d.c. news for many generations. many years, not generations. oops. >> we are getting into generations. >> and all three of these firms have contributed and been partnerships with the urban
alliance. and my friend, melody barnes, ceo of melody barnes solutions but here for us today, she's the chair of the aspin forum for community solutions and an important partner in an initiative. we saw the video of it earlier. the opportunity youth incentive fund that the solutions forum helps to operate. we will hear about the work all of these organizations in trying to tackle the challenge of developing more of our country's great talent. let me start -- i'm going to ask everyone -- we will be very quick. give a quick couple thoughts about how does -- from the perspective of your institution or the companies that you work with, why does this issue matter and how do you try to tackle and make a difference on youth employment? andrew, why don't you begin? >> well, it's really an easy thing to do.
it's important to the company. the truth is, it's great for moral at the company. particularly young people at companies like bank of america actually want to work with youth. and you are providing them an opportunity to mentor, share skills, nurture young people in their career as sppir ragss. from a corporate perspective, it's important. it's important to invest in the youth. the youth need to learn the skills. i think the cautionary note -- i will be brief on this -- we have seen this movie before. this program started 20 years ago at an event similar to this where at the time u.s. attorney eric holder spoke and then vice president al gore. there was a panel of young people who were flooded with business cards at the end of the meeting, at the end of the panel. there was very little follow-up. i went out to see these kids a
week later. they were very frustrated at the lack of follow through. i think the real message to the corporate partners and the business community is follow up is critical. you will have a rewarding experience for both your company and for the young people. but it's hard. and you got to follow through and you got to stick with it and it has to be sustainable. >> kathleen, you share a little bit about how marriott looks at the questions. we heard about soft skills in the hospitality, that's job one. how do you make it possible for people to be able to be successful? >> first of all, it's great to be here with you. i salute the chamber and the urban alliance for putting this together. giving us this opportunity. a company like ours i think looks at the 13% youth unemployment rate in the country. we see the opportunity 69 because we are a labor intensive business.
marriott has 4,000 hotels around the world, more than 3,000 in the u.s. that accounts for 300,000 people who either work in our manage or franchise hotels. we are looking for people all the time to come into our hotels and work. we also want people who are ready to work. people who have approven experience of knowing what it means to show up on time, the soft skills such as just having the ability to speak to somebody confidently, to be able to shake their hand, to be able to know how to problem solve and figure out a solution to a customer problem. so we look at that 13% unemployment rate. it's double the regular unemployment rate in the u.s. it's 21% in europe where we have lots of hotels. we say, okay, how do we find the right partners to bring in the right youth who have begun to get the skills that we need that we can then take through our robust training programs? and i think for us, the global economic downturn suddenly was a
new opportunity. because we saw the unemployment rate goes up. but also the demographics of the world were changing. our customers are changing, too. rather than have customers who are all baby boomers. we have customers who are gen-x, gen-y. who do they want to see? they want to see people like them. looking for youth are going to be the hosts as they come into the hotels. the urban alliance in d.c. has been a great partner for the past six years. we have had about ten youth a year that come and intern in paid internships in our hotels. in the d.c. area, that's great. where he also a global company. we are looking for national partners, national solutions. so we have been able to take something like the national academy foundation, which has been around for decades, we have had a partnership with them for deca decades. they have 70,000 youth in urban schools going through their programs. and we realized as we need youth to work in our hotels, we could
commit to mentoring at least 10,000 youth a year in our courtyard by marriott hotels, 1,000 in the united states, pairing them with the hotels, with the schools. so we have a proven partner in the national academy foundation. they are putting the kids through programs in hospitality but i.t., financial, that we can bring into the hotels. by giving them internships, by training the teachers, we are giving what often is lacking. and i think that's the real world experience of knowing what it means to show up when you are supposed to show up, to be in the schools and to create that thing that actually results, i think, in career success. purdue and gallop did a poll. half the kids graduating from college are unemployed or under employed. one of the biggest problems is they never had mentorships or internships that gave them the
skills so that they could go into a job interview and show, i can do it. you can count on me. so that's why partnerships like this are so important. and urban alliance. >> so melody, you have been working on this issue now both when you were in government and outside. share a little bit of what you learned about the perspective of the businesses you are working with and in particular you have been putting partnerships together between the government, non-profits and the business community. we saw some evidence of that. is this a topic that is not everything you did was easy to bring people together during your time in government? is that one that works more easily in that way? >> well, i think about the experience both in government and with the white house counsel for community solutions that first started focusing on opportunity youth and then on at the aspin forum and work i have done with businesses. in all honesty, the answer to the question is, no, i don't think that that is an easy
issue. but i have think it's an issue whose time has come. andrew was talking about that. because of the need, because of the labor force, because as tom donohue was saying, we see this -- you look at young people, we are talking about a $4.2 trillion problem if you look at the lifetime of those young people if they are not engaged in the work force and are changing demographics. people recognize it's important right now. but at the same time, often people have looked at young people and thought, we have to get them young. 3, 4, 5-year-olds, much more attractive cohort to work with. but now people recognize that it's incumbent upon us to work with young people. now we know more about what works. we know -- kathleen was talking about the national academies foundation. we know with urban alliance. we can look at europe. we can look at other programs and see that if you have blended programs that involve work and more businesses are engaging those young pee,